Weisenberg Lutheran Church honors veterans with monument
The road past Weisenberg Lutheran Church was closed Nov. 12 for a very important affair.
A monument was being dedicated to the veterans with the monument in the cemetery and the audience across the road.
Master of Ceremony Charles “Skip” Mikosky said a committee was formed at Weisenberg Church to give recognition to church members who were veterans.
Two plaques had been made but a plaque was not enough for the 90 names that were found.
When the Rev. Raymond Hand searched church records and committee members found names by walking the cemetery to locate more names, there were 80.
Between the time the monument was ordered and the actual work was done, another 10 names were found. All were veterans from 1945 forward.
Lehigh Valley Granite Studio donated the work for the additional 10 names.
Along the way, the stone wall surrounding the monument became an Eagle Scout project for Darren Dengler.
He is a member of Troop 261, Breinigsville. Todd Williams is the Scoutmaster. Troops 1600 and 72 helped with the program.
Boy Scouts presented the colors and the church group, Heavenly Harmony, sang the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Members are Cindy Coyle, Lucy Gressley, Marie Gressley and Judy Stetzler.
An unforeseen circumstance contributed to the beginning of the program as the church bells rang, unintentionally.
The Boy Scouts led the Pledge of Allegiance and Pastor Raymond Hand gave the Invocation including the words “May it (the monument) honor those from our congregation and all those who served.”
Darren gave the Boy Scout oath. He said he partnered with the Military Recognition committee.
The anthems from the various military branches were played with members who had served in that branch coming forward for recognition: Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard.
Darren thanked the many dozens of volunteers who helped.
“We are proud to honor our veterans and those who serve our country,” he said.
The committee unveiled the monument removing its red and white striped blanket that had long lain in Phyllis Breininger’s attic.
A white cotton rope had been holding it in place.
Congressman Charlie Dent, R-15th, said many times Americans ask if people in foreign countries appreciate what this nation’s military does.
Dent said he had visited some of the cemeteries in Europe and found that the sacrifices are deeply appreciated.
Many plots are adopted by local residents who care for them and put flowers on the graves.
In Normandy and Belgium he found a great sense of gratitude. American flags were everywhere.
So many young men and women were laid to rest,” Dent said. “Some Boy Scout had no family.”
He said in World War I, his wife’s grandfather’s older brother in France wrote to his little brother and said France was a pretty place.
“Tell Mom and Dad not to worry,” he wrote.
Shortly thereafter he was killed.
Dent said the government needed an integrated health records system so records can be transferable.
It would provide better care for veterans, one-third of whom are getting health care outside the Veterans Affairs system.
From Lehigh County veterans have to travel to Wilkes-Barre. The civilian system is easier to reach but very expensive.
“Thank you to every veteran who is here today. Thank you. You can never say that enough,” Dent said. “God bless America.”
As the service members went up front they each received a flag. “God Bless America” was sung and “Taps” was played.
Two cakes were cut as people moved indoors. One was decorated as a flag. On the second cake was written “Honoring our Vets who proudly served.”